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The Weeds

News • Science

In politics, you’re often told not to get lost in the weeds. But we love the weeds! That’s where politics becomes policy – the stuff that shapes our lives. Every Tuesday and Friday, Dylan Matthews, Jerusalem Demsas, German Lopez, Dara Lind, and other voices dig into the weeds on important nationalRead more

Popular episodes

America’s Public Health Experiment: The testing failure

Dec 3 • 41:14

German talks with Dr. Neeraj Sood, director of the Covid Initiative at the University of Southern California’s Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics, about the US’s many failures on Covid-19 testing. They dive into the country’s original mistakes, then go into how lack of testing continues to plague America’s pandemic response. They conclude with what this means...

Defund the police?

Dec 1 • 01:03:51

German, Jerusalem, and Dylan talk about an idea that has come to dominate national discussions of policing: defunding the police. They walk through the pros and cons of the idea as a policy proposal, then discuss how it’s affecting the politics of criminal justice. Finally, they discuss new research on discrimination against Black and Latinx renters....

Biden’s $3.40 a gallon problem

Nov 24 • 50:48

Dylan, Jerusalem, and Dara talk about the specific kind of inflation that’s roiling American politics: the heightened price of gas. They discuss how and why gas prices have shot up in recent months, and what it means for Joe Biden’s popularity and presidency. Plus, a white paper about the most important labor market of all: the global market for soccer (excuse me, football

Taxing Back Better

Nov 19 • 48:59

Dylan talks to Chye-Ching Huang, the executive director of the Tax Law Center at NYU Law, about the many, many, many tax provisions in Democrats’ Build Back Better package. First they dive into the new tax benefits in the bill, from the expanded child tax credit to the $7,500 credit for electric cars. Then they talk about how the bill raises money through taxes, especially...

How does the pandemic end?

Nov 16 • 54:24

Now that nearly 60 percent of the US population is fully vaccinated, Dylan, German, and Jerusalem discuss potential exit strategies for policies such as mask mandates and mandatory quarantines. They also talk about what an “endemic” Covid might be like in the US and which aspects of pandemic life might stick around. Finally, they discuss how better access to mental health ...

Reshaping America’s cities

Nov 12 • 58:37

Vox policy reporter Jerusalem Demsas talks with the Atlantic’s Derek Thompson (@DKThomp) about how the future of remote work could reshape America’s cities, upend US labor markets, and cause fundamental shifts in where people live. Derek and Jerusalem discuss how it would take only a small percentage of remote workers to impact the urban geography of the US — with complica...

Pass the SALT?

Nov 10 • 01:05:52

Dylan, Jerusalem, and Dara discuss congressional Democrats’ efforts to uncap the state and local tax (SALT) deduction, and how the party found itself proposing a massive tax cut for high-income households. They also dive into the deduction’s stated purpose (encouraging states to spend on social programs) and talk about other programs that could encourage states to invest i...

The Most Dangerous Branch: Covid-19 v. The Constitution

Nov 5 • 58:10

Vox senior correspondent Ian Millhiser talks to law professor Nicholas Bagley about the pandemic — and how the courts are undermining the government's ability to respond to emergencies. They discuss the constitutionality of vaccine mandates, religious exemptions to public health laws, and court decisions undermining the power of public health agencies....

Is Facebook really that bad?

Nov 2 • 53:08

Dylan, German, and Dara talk about Facebook and the controversy surrounding it in recent weeks. They cover just how much — and how little — we know about Facebook’s impact on the world and talk about whether there are good policy solutions to Facebook’s problems. For the white paper of the week, they break down a study on free school lunch programs....

Housing policy, but make it British

Oct 29 • 43:34

America’s housing market is failing to meet the needs of most Americans. Rents have skyrocketed, homeownership is slipping out of grasp for young and other first-time homebuyers, and policymakers have struggled to meet the moment. But we’re not alone. The UK is also facing a dire housing shortage, one that is leading to skyrocketing rents and home prices. Usually, the solu...

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